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EPA and Vineland Team Up To Reduce Pollution From 143 School Buses
Release Date: 10/31/2005
For Immediate Release: Monday, October 31, 2005
(#05125) NEW YORK -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Vineland School District in New Jersey today announced the completion of a project under the Clean School Bus USA program to reduce emissions from 143 school buses. The completed grant project of tailpipe emission upgrades and anti-idling techniques will improve air quality for Vineland's 10,600 students. EPA provided a $180,000 grant to Vineland schools for this project in 2004. This completion announcement highlights Children's Health Month, which is celebrated in October.
"Diesel retrofit programs like Clean School Bus USA help clean the air and protect our kids," said Alan J. Steinberg, EPA Regional Administrator. "The Vineland Board of Education has set a wonderful example for other New Jersey school districts as the first district to volunteer to reduce tailpipe emissions."
Vineland installed pollution controls on 91 of the district's 143 buses and has instituted an anti-idling policy for all district buses. The pollution controls, called diesel oxidation catalysts and crank case filters, reduce harmful pollutants such as fine particles, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. Most school buses in the country are powered by large diesel engines that are not required to meet stricter pollution controls. Diesel emissions are proven to harm air quality and often lead to harm air quality and often lead to increased asthma rates and respiratory problems, particularly for children.
"We were pleased to receive the Clean School Bus USA Grant from the EPA," said Joseph Callavini, Vineland School Transportation Manager. "It enabled the Vineland School District the opportunity to continue to provide quality transportation for our students and improve the quality of the air that we all breathe."
Across the nation, school districts like Vineland's are realizing the environmental and health benefits of diesel upgrades. In Vineland's case, its engine improvements alone (not including anti-idling techniques) will reduce emissions of fine particles by at least 30 percent; hydrocarbons by at least 50 percent and carbon monoxide by at least 20 percent. The district also installed idling monitoring technologies in 20 buses in its fleet that allow supervisors to observe and improve fleet driving patterns.
Schools throughout New Jersey can take Vineland's example and apply it to their districts. EPA estimates that the simple technique of idling reduction in New Jersey schools could remove 4,000 pounds of nitrogen oxides, 2,400 pounds of carbon monoxide, 600 pounds of hydrocarbons and 240 pounds of fine particles from the air each year. The anti-idling policy is economical in addition to being good for the environment. The district projects a fuel savings of 6,000 gallons per year by instituting the no idling policy and using the vehicle data monitors.
Pollution control requirements for all diesel-powered vehicles continue to get tighter. By 2007, all diesel engines manufactured for buses and trucks will be 95% cleaner than those of most buses on the road today.
EPA's Clean School Bus USA program gives grants and technical assistance to fleet owners so that they can reduce the exposure to diesel fumes of the 24 million children who ride school buses, and reduce the amount of air pollution these buses create. To find out more about the benefits of diesel vehicle upgrades, visit www.epa.gov/cleanschoolbus.